Second Dubai Design Week on the horizon
Ahram Online, Sunday 2 Oct 2016
This year, the Iconic City initiative highlights Cairo in a showcase curated by Mohamed El-Shahed


The second edition of Dubai Design Week will take place between 24 and 29 October, bringing the latest innovative designs from all over the world.

Dubai Design Week brings together 143 designers from 12 countries to present and exchange ideas and innovations across a wide range of design disciplines from architecture to graphic, interior and product design.

Last year, the Design Week selected Beirut for the 'Iconic City' section. This year from Egypt Mohamed El-Shahed, director of the architecture and urbanism blog Cairo Observer, curates Cairo Now! City Incomplete.

Presenting over 65 young Egyptian entrepreneurs, artists and designers alongside veteran design practitioners, the multidisciplinary exhibit looks at Cairo as a place with many incompletes and interruptions in its development -- partially restored buildings, unfinished buildings trying to evade taxes, incomplete roofs hoping to add more floors, and partly realised satellite cities emerging in the desert.

El-Shahed's presentation highlights emerging designers who manage the city's flaws and incompleteness, its lack of support and infrastructure, and despite everything, continuously innovate and find inspiration in their surroundings.

Iconic City is but one of six major art and design initiatives running throughout Dubai Design Week.

The six-day event capitalises on coinciding with Downtown Design, a design trade fair taking place in Dubai from 25 to 28 October.

Downtown Design brings 100 brands from 25 countries, with a special highlight of emerging brands from Addis Ababa, Barcelona, Beirut, Reykjavíkand Taipei.

The Global Grad at the fair Show showcases 135 projects from universities across 30 countries, while exhibiting the work of 11 young design talents from the upcoming generation.

Design within the Middle East and Africa is highlighted in the Abwab initiative under the theme of The Human Senses, bringing both emerging and established designers, photographers and architects from Algeria, Bahrain, India, Iraq, Palestine and the United Arab Emirates.

During the six-days a series of 15 public site-specific installations by renowned international, regional and local designers will be displayed in landmark locations across Dubai, while a number of studios, ateliers, universities and galleries will also be hosting some events.

Visitors can also attend daily programmes of talks and workshops in context of the surrounding events, and also focusing on the design scene in the United Arab Emirates.

All the major events will take place in Dubai Design District, (d3), an expansive venue that aims to be a platform that engages the region’s emerging creative thinkers and showcases it to a larger global audience, while playing a central role to set up Dubai's innovation-led economy.

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